Talk BRICS: Scholar on China-s commitment to free trade

Added On September 5, 2017

This week President Xi Jinping cemented China's commitment to globalization when he addressed the 2017 BRICS Summit, in Xiamen.

For more on China's position, we spoke to a leading Australian business expert, and asked him of his view of world free trade today.
Hans Hendrischke is a professor with the University of Sydney Business School.
He said at a time when free trade agreements are being "tossed out and reconsidered" in some parts of the world, it is quite "appreciated" by the global business community to have a strong commitment and a platform to actually grow cooperation.
SOUNDBITE (English): HANS HENDRISCHKE, University of Sydney Business School
"At the moment it (BRICS) is probably the strongest platform of the developing countries. It became a platform for growth of the developing countries that had the highest economic growth in the 2010s. It has now shifted more towards a policy platform to maintain things like commitment to free trade, commitment to free trade agreements, to globalization, at a time when all of that is under reconsideration."
For Hendrischke, China has sent a clear signal to other countries who are reverting to protectionist rhetoric. 
He says it has also highlighted the need for stronger partnerships and international cooperation.
Such as is being taken by the BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. 
He says the grouping is helping to form consensus and economic stability.
SOUNDBITE (English): HANS HENDRISCHKE, University of Sydney Business School
"I think an important one is what Xi Jinping called economic governance, and that is bringing in development goals. It's bringing in sustainable development. So a new agenda which hasn't really been at the forefront of those five countries in the past. China plays a very practical role and that is essentially built around the Belt and Road Initiative and these are projects. This is international cooperation. This is moving trade streams from a focus on the United States and Europe to third world countries and to South-South links."
He believes China's role should continue be as a figurehead for globalization, while bringing in more countries who share that commitment.